Three poets—the yet-to-be-named eighth Santa Barbara Poet Laureate—to read at the Santa Barbara Poetry Series at the Santa Barbara Public Library
The Santa Barbara Poetry Series will present its last reading of the 2018-19 season with featured readers Emma Trelles and Taylor Tejada—plus the soon to be announced next Santa Barbara Poet Laureate—on Sunday, April 7, 7-8:30 pm at the Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu Street. The event is free and open to the public. The event is not only part of Santa Barbara’s April National Poetry Month celebration, but also helps kick off National Library Week (April 7-13) at the SBPL. National Library Week 2019, with its theme “Libraries = Strong Communities.”
The featured reader for the evening will be the next Santa Barbara Poet Laureate, who will begin their 2019-2021 term starting with an installation at City Hall on March 26th. The City of Santa Barbara established a position of Poet Laureate in 2005 in order to direct proper attention and honor to literary arts by using poetry to celebrate and elevate community events. Since the establishment of the position the city has been remarkably fortunate of have seven exceptional Poets Laureate Emeriti—the late Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, David Starkey, Paul Willis, Chryss Yost, Sojourner Kincaid-Rolle, and Enid Osborn, who is just finishing her term. All have served to engage the community in greater appreciation for poetry, and have enhanced our experience of community events and celebrations.
Emma Trelles is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press), winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, a finalist for Foreword/Indies poetry book of the year, and a recommended read by The Rumpus. She is currently writing a second book of poems, Courage and the Clock. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Best of the Net, Verse Daily, To Give Life A Shape: Poems Inspired by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and others. Recent poems appear or are forthcoming in the Colorado Review, Spillway, The Miami Rail, Zócalo Public Square, and SWWIM. A recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and a founding member of the AWP Latinx Caucus, she teaches at Santa Barbara City College and programs the Mission Poetry Series.
Taylor Tejada is an English major in his final year at Westmont College. He is planning on going to graduate school to be able to teach. Taylor first decided to be an English major after writing “extremely subpar” [editor’s note: his words] poetry in high school. During his first few years at college, Taylor ceased to write poetry and instead focused and prose. This year, however, Taylor has returned to poetry and fondly remembers why poetry was the original reason he chose English as his major. Some of his favorite poets are Li-Young Lee, George Herbert, E.E. Cummings, and Denise Levertov. Taylor loves storms, fresh cut grass, and good food. He is currently trying to find a place where all three of those things exist at the same time.
The Santa Barbara Poetry Series presents a student, local, and visiting poet each quarter of the year. All poets receive an honorarium for their readings. The Series, coordinated by Chryss Yost and George Yatchisin and co-sponsored by Gunpowder Press, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Public Library, and is generously supported by Nancy Gifford and the Santa Barbara Poetry Fund. The event is also supported by a matching grant from Poets & Writers. For more information see gunpowderpress.com or sbplibrary.org.